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Treatment Scout Website

NAMI Montana

Treatment Scout Website Logo

Program Website
Year:
2018
State:
Montana
Winner Status:
Applicant
Program Type:
Access to Care
Target Population:
Individuals with Serious Mental Illness
Setting:
Online Community/Tool

Program Description

Treatment Scout is an online resource and review website for inpatient/residential mental health, substance abuse, autism, dementia and other brain conditions. It also covers very specific and expensive non-standard treatments like Ketamine Treatment for Depression. The website clearly shows on a map and list which treatment clinics are available in a given area. Users are able to submit reviews. The website was designed to incorporate three different types of reviews: (1) lived experience with the treatment clinic, (2) a loved ones experience with the treatment clinic and (3) a referring provider or healthcare navigator experience with a treatment clinic. The website was developed because Matt Kuntz, the Executive Director of NAMI Montana, was frustrated with the lack of information and reviews about residential/inpatient treatment. The choice of a treatment facility was one of the most expensive and critical decisions a person or family can make, but they do not even have a TripAdvisor-style website to guide their decision. So, we decided to make the review website we wanted. The website is published on behalf of the Family Support Foundation on Mental Illness. It was developed and implemented by NAMI Montana. NAMI Montana also operates the website on a daily basis.

Creativity

The website expresses the real-world knowledge of the problem that there is one very specific, critical and expensive treatment decision in mental health that happens with very little information. That is the decision of a residential/inpatient treatment center. We realized that while there are a number of review websites out there, they are not specific enough to be able to truly compare apples-to-apples facilities. There are also some good resource websites for inpatient/residential treatment centers, but they don’t have a review function. Much less a review function that realizes that there are three very different viewpoints on how a treatment center should be rated: the person who gets the care, their family members, and referring clinicians/navigators. We also think that it took a high level of resourcefulness for a small nonprofit out in Helena, Montana to realize that we could develop a high-level, complicated website through creative contract services

Leadership

The program demonstrates that small nonprofits like NAMI Montana can work with contractors to develop their own technical tools to the challenges that they face though their day-to-day work. This project was developed to confront the very specific challenge that we faced when fighting inpatient or residential treatment facilities, particularly out of state. It also creates a learning system that continues to improve through every interaction that creates leads to a treatment center review. This helps share the everyday experiences of employees working with family to ensure that those learned experiences are available to other employees. NAMI Montana and the Family Support Foundation on Mental Illness have slowly rolled the Beta Version of the website out this fall. We have begun sharing it on our newsletter, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages. We have also launched a nationwide Facebook promotional campaign and a promotional campaign through Fiverr.

Sustainability

The program was developed by NAMI Montana and is published on behalf of the Family Support Foundation on Mental Illness. Initial sponsorship for the program was donated by NAMI Helena and NAMI Bozeman. The website generates income through Amazon advertisements. Don Nelson, the Vice-President for Government Relations-Midwest Region for Magellan Health, is very excited about Treatment Scout and mentioned it during the “the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse” in Wisconsin. Don is working with Magellan Health’s Foundation to issue a funds to further support the program. The website is also relatively inexpensive to continue to operate because the technical contractor is reasonable and the day-to-day management fits in well with NAMI Montana’s existing website and resource guide maintenance. If the review management becomes overly burdensome, then we will either bring on a VISTA volunteer or contractor to help with that part of the process.

Replicability

The Treatment Scout website can immediately be adopted for use by any institution or organization who is involved with inpatient/residential treatment decision. They can either refer it to clients and families who are deciding between facilities or they go on the website an post reviews of experiences with the clinic that they have been involved with. The website has been designed to be as flexible and easy-to-use as possible. Other institutions and organizations can also look at the site and realize that they could duplicate or replicate something similar for a slightly different need within their area. For instance, they may have a resource guide that would be more useful with a mapping and review function. Our website may be the inspiration for them to work with a contractor to bring their solution to life, instead of waiting for someone to design a broad solution that may not truly work.

Results/Outcomes

The outcomes of the innovation program is that people around America will have a fuller understanding of their expensive residential/inpatient treatment purchasing decisions. It will also allow clinicians an easier way to keep up with the status of facilities that they occasionally refer clients to. If the reviews of that facility have changed dramatically recently, then there may be cause for the clinician to look at the facility closer before making another referral. If adopted broadly the website will also serve as a stigma reduction effort evaluating intensive mental illness and substance abuse treatment in the same manner that you would evaluate any other purchasing decision that may cost between $20,000-50,000 or more. Those purchasing decisions involve looking over multiple reviews from a variety of vendors. If we treat this decision in the same manner, then it will help take some of the stigma out of that treatment decision.